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TSET Sets Aside $1M for New Food Access Program


Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust expects more people will need help buying healthy food amid an economic downturn driven largely by the COVID-19 pandemic.

TSET will award up to $1 million in grants through a new food access program to help with that.

"We know that one in six [people] and one in four children in Oklahoma suffer from food insecurity, and early data shows that number is likely to have increased dramatically with the recent economic downturn," said TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee.

Making people healthier is also a goal, as people with health conditions like heart disease and diabetes may be hit harder by COVID-19.

Grants may be used in a variety of ways. A similar TSET program is used to double what people spend at farmers markets,

"There's also discussion about working with large grocer chains to figure out ways that those double-up bucks or some similar incentive items might be something that could be put into more wider range use," Bisbee said.

Grants could also go toward things like signs that facilitate social distancing at farmers markets.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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